Once a simple bar and family home, the Plainland Hotel has come a long way since it opened its doors in 1914.
Porters Plainland is a familiar landmark on the Warrego Highway just an hour's drive from Brisbane, at the eastern gateway to Queensland's beautiful Lockyer Valley.
Today the Hotel is managed by a third generation of Porters, Michael and his wife Shelley and sister Melissa, following his parents Bob and Julie, and grandparents Dick and Rita who first leased it from Castlemaine Perkins in 1946.
The Porters arrived in Australia in 1909, already long involved in the hotel business in their native Ireland. At one stage, seven of Dick's siblings either owned or leased hotel in south east Queensland. After gaining experience in Dalby at his father's Arcadia Hotel, Dick with Rita branched out on their own, settling on Plainland for its prime location on the main western highway.
Bob Porter described his father as a showman at heart. "Dick ran a pretty unique operation," he said. "He and our mother never owned or drove a vehicle, they never had more than one holiday in thirty years of running the pub, and their sacrifice was what allowed us to go on to boarding school and get our education."
In the days when the old swaggies were still on the roads, Dick and Rita would often provide a night's rest on the verandah and a breakfast in the morning.
Bob and Julie Porter met working at the Commonwealth Bank, and in 1976 took the plunge in more ways than one, securing the freehold on the pub which was relocated to make way for a four-lane Warrego Highway. It still served as their home when Michael was born in 1980.
Their investment marked the start of the hotel's transformation with the growing district into the entertainment destination it is today. A simple bar and counter-meals service was expanded with TAB, then a liquor barn, and in 1995 a family restaurant. In 2002, with Michael Porter now on board as hotel manager, the pub underwent a major QHA-award-winning redevelopment
"The core part of the hotel is the original building but it is certainly unrecognisable to what it was then," Michael said.
In recent years further work has added a drive-thru bottleshop
(the Valley's largest selection), and upgrades to the pub including a second deck for smokers off the sports bar, new live entertainment facilities and a freshly refurbished dining room. Still firmly under family management, today the Plainland Hotel is a thriving business employing over 50 staff.
Whether you're looking for the Highway's best pub entertainment
, quality a la carte dining
seven days a week, the best local liquor selection, or a knowledgeable guide to Valley attractions and events, you can't beat Porters family hospitality. In fact, you'll want to stay all day!